New York State Reduces Some Requested Increases In Health Insurance Premiums

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ROCHESTER, NY (WXXI) – The NYS Department of Financial Services has announced its decision on annual rate requests from health insurance companies.

DFS says that it reduced the overall requested rates by 26%.

Specifically, in terms of some regional health insurers, the state approved a 6.3% increase for Excellus for the individual market, which was the same increase requested for next year.

It was the same story for MVP Health Plan in that category, which was approved for a 6.8% increase.

In the small group market, which covers employers with 1 to 100 employees,  the state approved a 5.7% increase for Excellus, which was about one percent less than the 6.8% increase that was requested.

MVP Health Plan was approved for a 9% increase in that category, the same amount that was requested.

State officials say that the main driver for premium rates, as in prior years is underlying medical costs. The officials say that for the 2020 individual rates, drug costs account for the largest share of medical expenses, followed by inpatient hospital costs and outpatient hospital costs.

The rate decisions by the state do not include the ‘Essential Plan,’ available through the NYS of Health, which will still have premiums of $20 or less for lower income New Yorkers who qualify.